Monday, April 10, 2006

Colorado golf course, foxes and Cornbread

I have officially added Colorado to my list of states played for a grand total of 14.

It was a double leg trip, with my first stop in Detroit. It was supposed to snow in Detroit and the weather forecast for Denver showed rain and low temperatures. I didn’t even bring my clubs. I did, however, pack some golf clothes and shoes, and I always have a glove, some balls and tees in my suitcase. You never know when an opportunity will present itself.

The clubhouse at Fox Hollow. My camera was back at home in my golf bag
so I had to buy one of those disposable jobbies. Hence the poor quality.

It turned out that the day I had time to play was actually sunny and in the 50’s. It was incredibly windy, but I decided to check another state off my list and headed out to Fox Hollow in Lakewood. The people were nice and professional, though not as uber-friendly as some of the people I've encountered in the states I've played (Hello, Nebraska!). For my round, the cart, a couple logo balls, a snazzy divot repair tool, a hat and rental clubs, I paid a total of $109.75. Quite reasonable, I thought!

As usual, the rental sets were shabby. First, they handed me a nice, shiny set. Ladies’ clubs. Drat. I was tempted to take them anyway and suffer the consequences of playing with clubs shorter and more flexible than I’m used to. In hindsight, I probably should have. My game’s been off lately anyway, and this day was no exception, so it couldn’t have hurt me much.

The driver did okay for me, but I couldn't hit the other woods if my life depended on it (good thing it didn't).

Fox Hollow has three nines: Canyon, Meadow and Links. The pro shop sent me out with instructions to play Links and Canyon. The starter considered the wind and that it was my first time there and going out alone and re-directed me to play Canyon and Meadow. He said I’d be more protected from the wind that way. I sure couldn’t tell it from the first hole! The wind was howling! I managed to keep my first drive in the fairway, but I couldn’t find any yardage markers and the green was elevated and unknown to me. My second shot fell short, but I got on with my third. I arrived at an enormous green on top of the hill where the wind was trying to knock my socks off. No external force necessary, I three putted to start my round with a double bogey.

I took this picture to show the wind on the first hole. Because of the quality, it's hard to see, but look at the bottom of the flagstick compared to the location of the actual flag.

I par’d the next two holes and a foursome let me play through on the par 5 fourth hole. After an impressive drive, I hacked around with all the eyes on me and carded another double. The next hole was interesting. It was a blind tee-shot with one of those low-tech marshal signs they change from red to green when it’s okay to hit. From the drawing on the scorecard, I could tell it went left and down and was intersected with a creek at the bottom of the hill. No guts, no glory. My shot went right where I intended but I had no way of knowing if that was the right thing to do. I found my ball a few feet in front of the edge of the creek – perfect luck! All my shots to the green were going long, and this was no exception. I ended up just off the back, from where I chipped on and two-putted for a bogey. That was a fun hole.

You can see my ball in the bottom right of the picture. How's that for a lucky blind shot?
So there's the hollow...

And here's the fox.

At the end of the Canyon nine, I was ten over with a 45. Seven out of seven fairways hit, one out of nine greens (three were within inches), and a mere 18 putts! It actually felt pretty good! Then came the Meadow nine.

After noticing I’d hit every fairway on the front, I missed the next three. I hacked around on the first hole of Meadow (a par 5) and FOUR-putted to start yet again with a double bogey. The next hole was even worse, where I finally found the sand. This hole won our battle and left me with a snowman after a three-putt.

*Side note: The night before in my hotel room, I watched the movie “What the Bleep do We Know?” It’s a movie about quantum physics (a subject for which I geek out) and I loved it. I took it to the course with me, where I WAS the ball, the club, and the fairway. Be the ball, Danny. I guess on the back nine I became the turkey sandwich, the pretzels and the bunkers, and forgot about the rest of it. I should have remembered that I’m also the putter.*

Two holes and two three-putts later, the twosome in front of me invited me to play with them. Vince and Cornbread. Yes, that’s right – Cornbread. “My real name is Jeremy, but I only hear that name when I’m yelling at myself.” I found out he got the name back when he was the only white kid at his high school. Made sense to me. He had tattoos covering both his hands and arms, and on his fingers, it said “GAME OVER.” Apparently not his golf game. The guy could play and he was a real teddy bear. “There are only three things I care about: golf, lifting weights and women.” Vince commented that they weren’t necessarily in that order and Cornbread corrected him. A guy after my own heart – he’s passionate about his golf!

We enjoyed the rest of the round and I ended up with a 53 on that nine for a total of 98. I guess that’s not terrible considering my recent slump, the rental clubs, the unfamiliar course and the wind. I just don’t like settling for “not terrible.” I had thoughts about continuing on to play the Links nine as well, but the wind had battered me and I was done.

Cornbread works as a host at a “gentlemen’s” club right across the street from the hotel where I stayed. He invited me to the pajama party they were having that night. I declined. I didn’t pack pajamas.

Next post.


Greg said...

Seems to me that Cornbread is living the life. Golf by day, work at a "Gentleman's Club" by night.

Now I know where the wind went. Hope it stays away for a while too!

Good to see you've checked Colorado off your list, GC.


mediaguru said...

Nice story. Cornbread eh? I like it. Couldn't really see that flagstick you mentioned.

2003 AAGT Nat'l Champ said...

You don't wear pajamas???

dave said...

Yes get the camera back for these trips. Rental clubs are usually worse than rental cars.